Stuttgart defender Cristian Molinaro, who has been capped twice for Italy, believes that Germany fear the Azzurri ahead of their Euro 2012 semi-final encounter.
The Nationalelf are widely regarded as the favourites to progress to the final on Thursday, but the former Juventus left-back believes that the Germans' confident attitude might be an act rather than a sincere feeling.
"Here [in Germany] the newspapers keep focusing on the quality of the German side, who have been renovated in terms of system, players and ideas," Molinaro told Radio Calciomercato.
"The truth, though, is that they really fear us.
"In psychological terms, I think Italy are still a step ahead. I think Germany would’ve preferred to face England in the semi-final, considering their record against Italy."
Italy have never lost to Germany at a major tournament and knocked their European rivals out of the 2006 World Cup in an enthralling semi-final.
Thursday's encounter in Warsaw kicks off at 20:45CET.